I went back over the last 7 months conference calls. A perpespective : 1/ prices were expected to fall but... the industry is split between producers, wholesalers 'stores', buyers ie farmers. Understand what they get for their products ( ie price) depends on when the transacations are made. 2/ because prices were shooting up last year ( right along with oil), a lot of the 2009 spring goods were 'sold' on contracts between the producers and wholesalers at high, high prices. 3/ Some but not all the farmers bought ahead by 4Q08(as usual)... but more than a few ( higher than normal )waited until the beginning of the planting season. 4/ Because the planting season was late, some of the farmer buyers came to the wholesaler stores late. So they got a bargain.
Net net : A/ by June, planting is done; there is NO EXTRA available. B/ The FALL production will be a lower price BUT the COST - due to the lower natgas cost - IS ALSO LOW. So the Margins for FALL FERTILIZER MIGHT BE EVEN HIGHER!!! Why? Around the world, there is good planting... China might step up to buy as well.... wait for contracts from China and prices might head back up : lower cost nat gas, higher price for end-product equals greater margin.